Emmy loves her life in Illinois. She lives close by her grandparents, she helps her mother with the quilting bees, tying off the women’s threads (which she doesn’t enjoy as much), and she lives in a comfortable farmhouse.
But Emmy’s pa isn’t so happy. He’s just home from a trip west to the booming state of Colorado, where he’s convinced he is going to strike it rich. Emmy and her mother don’t want to leave Illinois, but Emmy’s mother is a dutiful wife, and follows her husband west.
Before the family leaves with their belongings piled in a covered wagon, Emmy’s grandmother gives her fabric pieces for her to quilt on her walk west. Emmy is less than thrilled, but takes them anyway.
The trip west is filled with dangers. Emmy makes a friend in their wagon train, but then has to say good-bye. She befriends a woman who’s abused by her husband, and is frustrated that the men won’t do anything to help protect her.
And, she learns to quilt. And through it all, Emmy learns to be a courageous young woman.
(As a side note, in this book, I get the sense that author Sandra Dallas doesn’t particularly like men. Emmy’s father is quite stubborn and rather unlikeable, but during course of the book, my respect for him grows, as does my respect for his marriage to Emmy’s mom. The women are sympathetic characters, mostly. And while Dallas doesn’t hide the fact of physical abuse, it’s not the focus of the book. I appreciate the way she handles the topic for young readers.)
Recommended for ages 8 and up.